Blue-Green Algae Extract
Blue-green algae is a species of cyanobacteria that is found on six continents and has been a staple in the diets of many cultures worldwide. The blue-green color that is characteristic of this organism is due to the photosynthetic pigments that absorb different light wavelengths to produce energy (glycogen). Blue-green algae is unique because it possesses characteristics of both plants and bacteria. While plants cell walls are made of cellulose, blue-green algae has cells walls made of peptidoglycan, lipids, polysaccharides, and proteins. But unlike bacteria, blue-green algae contain chlorophyll that gives them their color, and also classifies them as cyanobacteria (cyano being the Latin word for blue-green).
Blue-green algae is widely considered to be a whole food for the skin and body. It contains a broad spectrum of nutrients, including essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, proteins, amino acids, and enzymes. Interesting, there are fewer than twenty substances that have been discovered that are believed to be required vitamins for human survival, and blue-green algae contains thirteen of them: vitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamin C (ascorbic acid), choline, folic acid, thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), cobalamin (vitamin B12), biotin, vitamin E, and vitamin K. It also contains several essential trace minerals, including calcium, chloride, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc. Of possibly greater importance, blue-green algae are one of the very few botanical sources for all twenty essential amino acids (there are ten non-essential amino acids that the body is able to biosynthesize from other foods, and ten essential amino acids that the body must receive directly and intact from food sources).